For our latest Homegrown Business profile we spoke with James Yurichuk who is the founder of Wuxly Movement, a company that designs outerwear that is made in Canada using ethical manufacturing, fair labour and Canadian wages with sustainable materials.
Looking for a new jacket? Make sure this brand is on your radar.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Our brand is Wuxly Movement, founded on a love of nature and warmth by James Yurichuk. At Wuxly we design outerwear that is made in Canada using ethical manufacturing, fair labour and Canadian wages with sustainable materials. We are constantly evolving our products to be sustainable to help protect our earth and to help our clients get through crazy winters. Our brand mantra is ‘Live Warm’ which guides our brand image, our values and how we operate in the world we live in. Living Warm to everyone means something different and we accept that, for us it means spreading kindness and warmth to all people, planet and living beings.
What made you want to do this work?
Wuxly Movement was founded by former pro-football player and Canadian, James Yurichuk. In 2012, James was living in BC, playing pro-football for the BC Lions while he was dating his girlfriend Daniela who was from Brazil. James had been traded to the Toronto Argos and so James and Daniela had to move from the west coast back to James’ hometown, Toronto. During the move James had tasked himself with finding Daniela a Canadian parka as she was use to +30 degrees temperatures and now she would have to find warmth in -30 degree temperatures.
James approached his long time friend and master-tailor, Anthony DeBartolo, to design a warm winter parka that was reflective of his values. The final result of James and Anthony’s creation? Canadian made outerwear utilizing highly advanced technical materials, creating a revolutionary tech-based outerwear that is leaner, lighter and warmer, while being respectful to the planet and all living beings. This is the birth of the Wuxly Movement mantra, Live Warm. After developing the first Wuxly parka and finishing his football career, James went full force into Wuxly Movement in 2015. Wuxly has evolved into an outerwear brand with a mission to Live Warm, to provide warm outerwear and create products that are ethical made in Canada, animal-friendly and sustainable.
What problem does this solve?
In the outerwear market there is a lack in premium quality outerwear that is made with ethical and sustainable practices. At Wuxly we are developing our products to be not only sustainable, animal-free but working towards biodegradable outerwear coming in Fall/Winter 2020. Most luxury brands of outerwear are set in their ways of traditional production of goose-down, fur and overseas manufacturing. At Wuxly we are listening to the world around us, listening to what people want and are influenced by making the world a better place because there has been so much damage done to our environment. We aim to create products that people feel warm wearing on their bodies and they feel warm inside their soul.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
We have a wide range of clients and demographics however mainly people who are aware of climate impact and the plant-based communities. As more people become aware of the issues going on in the fashion industry and the environment we see more customers coming our way who want to make changes through their material consumption. We are here to provide products to those who are socially and environmentally conscious. We are community builders at Wuxly and we believe in spreading warmth to everyone.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
Wuxly generates sales through a unique offering of B2B through our retail partners in Canada, as well as D2C through online sales and consumer trade shows and events.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
Come check us out at our office right by Trinity Bellwoods Park, 884 Queen st. W. Rear Unit X, Toronto, Ontario!
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
Why should I buy a Wuxly when there are so many other brands of outerwear out there?
Purchasing a Wuxly item is more than buying a warm jacket. It means you are buying into a movement that is committed to protecting animals, supporting Canadians and doing better for the planet as there has been so much harm done to it. By purchasing a Wuxly you are making a personal decision that will create positive change in the fashion industry and in our environment.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part of what we do is offering people warm products to get them through the winter season. So many people do not like winter but at Wuxly we hear so many of our clients say they since they got a Wuxly, they are inspired to get outside, enjoy winter and feel warm while doing it. It brings a smile to each of our employee’s faces when we see someone walking down the street in a Wuxly. It’s all about community building and spreading our live warm message. It brings us so much joy at Wuxly when we can share the stories of our community of how people are living warm out there through activism, educating and spreading kindness!
The ‘worst’ part of being in the outerwear industry is seeing many new vegan products come into the marketplace and they are solving one issue but opening up the doors to other problems. As an animal-free brand we are trying to do things the right way. For us the right way is using sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing in Canada which ends up costing us more. We are dedicated to being animal-free, made in Canada and sustainability centered. Other brands on the market see being animal-free as the only answer. The fashion industry as a whole is the 2nd largest producer in waste. Many outerwear brands manufacture overseas, use non-sustainable materials and do not have high labour standards as we do in Canada. At Wuxly we see this as a major issue as we care so much about our planet and environmentalism, we look at the big picture and choose to operate as we do in order to solve issues that the rest of the fashion industry is causing.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
The outerwear industry is like the ‘Wild Wild West’, you don’t know what brands are going to do just to gain some market share. We see some brands discounting 75% and the other ones prices keep climbing to unattainable amounts. We focus on our brand mantra, what does it mean to #LiveWarm and ensure that as a brand we are constantly asking ourselves this question so that we always are reflecting our brand mission.
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
Virtuous Pie! The people there are so warm and they do make some pretty great vegan pizza!
Find out more about Wuxly Movement on their website.